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Four Ways to Support a Friend Recovering from Opium Abuse

Four Ways to Support a Friend Recovering from Opium AbuseDrug addiction is a very powerful force.  In most cases, this form of addiction is 100 percent preventable.  It is an individual’s choice to begin taking the drug and to continue its use or to seek help for recovery.  There are many forms of drug addiction, but one of the most powerful is opium addiction.

Before you can even consider helping someone with an addiction to opium, you first need to know what opium is and what its effects are on the body.  In its purest sense, opium is a reddish-brown, heavy scented drug that is highly addictive to those who take it.  Prepared from the juice of the opium poppy plant, opium is used as a narcotic as well as in medicine as an analgesic. In order to support a friend recovering from opium abuse, consider the following steps.

1. Begin by understanding more about addiction and learn how to help.

When a user begins using strong drugs, such as opium or other opiate addictive drugs like OxyContin, morphine, and oxycodone, that person immediately begins increasing his or her need for the drug. As tolerance for the drug builds, so does the need for more and more of the substance to obtain the same high. Drug tolerance and dependence will require long-term treatment to achieve recovery.

One of the main side effects of taking this drug is the inability to block pain.  The drug causes nerve damage within the brain that in turn causes cells to stop producing endogenous opiates also known as endorphins.

Withdrawal symptoms can be very painful.  This is why opium is such a hard drug to quit.  It is better to get instant relief from taking the drug than live through the painful symptoms of withdrawal.  Some of these symptoms include the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Bone pain
  • Chills or goose bumps
  • Cramping in the stomach
  • Cravings to use the drugs
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Insomnia
  • Irritation or agitation
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea
  • Shakes or trembling
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting

Now that you know what you are dealing with, you have a better understanding of what the addict is going through.  This understanding can help you convince your friend to seek help, perhaps with a medically-supervised detox program that can help with these withdrawal symptoms in a comfortable environment.

When you decide to help someone through the process of recovery from opium, you must understand that many first time attempts at getting clean will result in relapse.  Even though people feel that they will kick the habit the first time, reality is that the relapse rate is very high.

2. Help your friend find a reputable, licensed rehab provider.

The first thing you will want to do is find a licensed, reputable addiction treatment provider. Ask questions about the program and find out all you can. Your friend may have a hard time being motivated and researching treatment options while struggling with an addiction.

Consider a rehab program away from home; these programs are often far away from drug suppliers and local tensions that may result in relapse. These distance rehab programs often offer comfortable home-like accommodations and help an addicted person learn how to cope without the drug in a stress-free, private environment, far from co-workers, family, and addiction connections.

3. Consider holding an addiction intervention.

Once you understand the problem and a solution, you may consider arranging an addiction intervention.  An intervention allows you and others who love and care for the addict to confront that person in such a way that he or she understands that there are people out there who care. An intervention will also allow those who love the addict to show how the addict’s actions have a real impact.

Interventions are always tricky and often stressful. When effective, they may help your friend truly try harder in treatment and have a better long-term outcome. The power of a good intervention cannot be underestimated. Consider hiring a professional interventionist or at least consulting with a certified addiction interventionist before proceeding. Professional guidance can help.

4. Remain a friend.

When you speak with your friend, remain a friend. Don’t’ be judgmental or condescending.  You have to make the addict understand that he or she does have friends and a place to turn to when things go bad. However, it is okay to have appropriate boundaries and let your friend know that you cannot aid in addictive behavior.  You must understand that being a friend to an addict is not the easiest thing to be.  It takes a real commitment to be a friend and ally on this long and hard journey.

Find Opium Addiction Help

We want to help you with your addiction situation. Our helpline is open 24 hours a day.  When you call, one of our experienced staff members will be there to assist you in finding a drug rehab program that will work for you or someone you love. The next step is yours.